It's election day: Final polls, first votes and high turnout

This is it, the New Hampshire primary has come and it has shifted more rapidly and dramatically than most people were expecting. To revive our memories, here is the first New Hampshire poll I blogged, on August 30th: Clinton led Obama 37% to 17%, with Edwards at 14%. Among Republicans, Romney was ahead 27% to 23% with McCain at 12%.

And with that let's jump at the final tracking polls that are being delivered right now. Zogby and Rasmussen have released their final tracking polls and expect a few more before voting is over.

  • First up, Zogby: McCain gets 36% to Romney's 27%, expanding his lead by 4%. But Zogby adds: "Romney had a good day." Translation, Romney's Friday was also particularly good so now that it disappeared from the average McCain rose. So conflicting results here.
  • Among Democrats, Obama rose even further, defeating Clinton 42% to 39% with Edwards at 17%.

  • Second, Rasmussen which shows tighter races. Among Republican, there is very little movement, 32% to 31% for McCain.
  • Among Democrats, Obama's lead has tightened a bit, 37% to 30%, with Edwards at 19%.
And then we get Suffolk which has always had the best numbers for Clinton and Romney, and remains true to form:

  • Clinton trails 39% to 34% with Edwards at 15%. That might seem tighter than other polls, but Clinton was leading just two days ago and was down 1% yesterday. Whatever the turnout model Suffolk is using -- and which presumably tests less independents -- even that is getting away from Hillary.
  • Romney keeps his lead and even extends it, leading 30% to 26% with Huckabee at 13% and Rudy at 11%.
Keep in mind that these three polls that have just been released all show good Monday polling for Romney -- the only day the effect of the week-end debates could start to be felt. Let's see tonight if that is just a blip or an actual trend.
Meanwhile, New Hampshire stayed true to tradition: Hart's Location and Dixville Notch, two small villages, voted at midnight and reported resuls within 50 minutes. Dixville Notch won the competition between the two villages as to whom will report results first. And while they're really not worth much as an indicator (Clark won both villages in 2004), here are the results:

  • Among Democrats, Dixville Notch gave 7 votes to Obama, 2 to Edwards and one to Richardson. In Hart's Location, Obama got 9 votes, Clinton 3 and Edwards 1.
  • Among Republicans, Dixville Notch went for McCain 4 votes to 2 for Romney and 1 for Giuliani. Hart's Location had McCain with 6, Huckabee with 5, Paul with 4 and Romney with 1.
And in more relevant news, all reports in the past few hours point to a very large turnout which will set new records for the state's primary. The CW would dictate that is good news for McCain and Obama since they depend on independents and want to open up voting as much as possible, but as often it is a very tricky exercise to predict on the effect turnout will have without knowing for sure what group of voters are going to the polls.

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